Jay Collins, Danny Alvarez file Wilton Simpson-backed agriculture legislation

'I’m proud to stand with Florida’s farmers and ranchers with this important legislation that supports and defends their way of life.'

Sen. Jay Collins and Rep. Danny Alvarez are pushing legislation to revamp several rules pertaining to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with the backing of Agriculture Commission Wilton Simpson.

“This legislation reflects our continued commitment to supporting and protecting Florida’s farmers, ranchers, and growers, enhancing consumer protection and transparency, and building upon good governance,” Simpson said.

“By supporting our future farmers’ 4-H and FFA activities, banning ‘cultivated meat,’ and expanding safeguards for agricultural producers and consumers, we aim to promote a stronger, safer, and more prosperous Florida.”

According to a release on the legislation, the measures (SB 1084, HB 1071) aim to accomplish several goals, including:

— Protecting Florida’s food and fiber production by providing criminal penalties for trespassing on commercial agricultural property with the intent to commit a crime.

— Combating saw palmetto berry theft by prohibiting the harvest, transport, processing, or purchase of saw palmetto berries without a valid permit and permission from landowners.

— Providing Florida school districts with the ability to approve 4-H and FFA related activities as excused absences.

— Making it more convenient for Floridians to renew and replace a variety of professional licenses and concealed weapon licenses, if they choose to receive one.

— Protecting Florida consumers by making it unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell or deliver, hold, or offer for sale “cultivated meat” for human consumption.

— Providing increased transparency and anti-fraud protections into Florida’s charitable organizations, safeguarding consumers’ household goods while being transported by interstate movers, and requiring pest control companies to provide customers with documentation for all wood-destroying organism inspection/treatments.

“As a retired Army Green Beret, I know the complexities of today’s hyper competitive world and it is imperative we stabilize, revitalize and grow agriculture to ensure Florida’s footprint on the world stage,” Collins said in a written statement.

“I am honored to work with Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson and Rep. Danny Alvarez to protect framers, ranchers and growers that create this $180 Billion economic enterprise.”

Neither bill has been assigned to any committees yet as of this writing. The 2024 Legislative Session begins on Jan. 9.

“Florida’s agriculture industry is not only the backbone of our economy — contributing over $180 billion annually and helping to employ more than 2.5 million people — it is critical to our food security and the future prosperity of our state and nation,” Alvarez said. “I’m proud to stand with Florida’s farmers and ranchers with this important legislation that supports and defends their way of life.”

Staff Reports


  • tom palmer

    January 2, 2024 at 9:30 am

    palmetto berry thefts is a problem on public and private conservation lands, getting at the processors is a good approach.

  • Trevor Morris

    January 3, 2024 at 3:36 am

    OK, the palmetto berry portion of the bill is legit, but banning cultured meat? I swear the assclowns that run Florida are so drunk on power that they will put forward any bill that any moneyed interest passes along to them, no matter how ridiculous. It is time to clean house in Florida from Gov. DiSaster down to Bridget Ziegler. These self-serving hypocrites have got to go.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn